Of the three girls to have to get a palate expander/frankenstein device for 3-4 weeks (or months! Mr. RSG wasn’t quite paying attention to that little detail). And I wasn’t even thinking it was a big deal until my friend said to me via email
Look into the effects of maxillary ‘widening’…find an orthodontist who collaborates with a cranio-sacral pro. If that’s even possible.
Do you wanna take a stab at who gets the ‘honor’?
Yes, that’s right, the 7 year old daughter who had selective mutism.
Why does my lovely child need a palate expander?
Because she has a crossbite on one of her adult teeth. (Notwithstanding the crookedness of her lower jaw…apparently the adult tooth growing BEHIND her baby tooth is no big deal).
Can it be left alone?
I wish…it’s going to cost $3000 for it.
According to Dental-Health.com…
A crossbite needs to be corrected as soon as it is diagnosed and at four years old is not too early.
A crossbite can cause a functional shift in the lower jaw posture, which can lead to asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw. This will further complicate orthodontic problems in the future.
Okay so an ounce of prevention now will be worth a pound of cure later.
What Are the Side Effects?
Side effects will vary from person to person, but potential side effects include:
* Headaches, especially on the days the expander key has been turned to further widen the jaw
* Lisping and other difficulty speaking after the expander is first put on, but patients usually adjust after a few days
* Extra saliva
* Tongue discomfort because it rubs against the metal of the expander
* Space between the front teeth
A friend of mine recommends cranio-sacral therapy…I think to help with the pain and pressure (because I’d heard it ends up opening the sutures of the head?) Of course, when I checked…there’s no one around who does that.
But also importantly…
Do They Affect Your Speech?
One of the big orthodontic expander questions involves whether or not they’ll affect the wearer’s speech. They will, but generally only for a short period. Once the patient has adjusted to the device, he should be able to speak normally for the duration of the jaw expansion.
This doesn’t sound so bad…UNTIL you read about other people’s experiences…
Christine M of The Thinking Mother gives us her impression of her son wearing the device:
I was shocked when I realized my son’s lovely voice was gone. Formerly my son had no speech impediments. With this expander in place, he has multiple, temporary “speech impediments”. His speech is terrible. He has a new lisp, and his speech is in general, garbled. Sometimes it is hard to hear what he is saying at all. It is actually so bad that I am a bit embarrassed for him as I see that other children and also adults do have a hard time understanding him.
I’ve taken steps to prepare middle daughter for the device, having conversations that her ability to eat and talk might be affected and that there might be some pain. I am a bit apprehensive…both for the pain and for the speech impediment that will ensue and the fact she’ll probably end up spitting on people when she talks.
It might set her back into not speaking. I even told her it might because she might get teased. She said, “oh, no, mommy, my friends won’t make fun of me”.
Yeah, that’s a good sign…that she’s confident. But it still doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better.
Yeah, I’ll be writing a note to the teacher, forewarning the difficulties and to please let me know if she gets embarrassed or teased or cries or simply gives up in shame and becomes mute again.
[Stop catastrophizing Casey, you know it doesn't do any good]
In two weeks…I’ll be starting the
complaints updates on this new trial adventure.
On a related note…I ought to change the name of this blog from Raising Smart Girls to The Adventures of the Sensitive Sisters…or something like that (have I mentioned that nary a day goes by when someone isn’t crying over here???? And in fact, the child of this post is melting down this very minute. Why? Because her younger sister gets to go to a birthday party tonight and she doesn’t. Argh…I could use some craniosacral therapy myself).